Winter around Montenegro

Winter around Montenegro

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Not many people visit Montenegro in winter – but that’s a shame, because this season is actually one of the best times to visit Montenegro.

Sure, you won’t be able to sun yourself on the beach, but you also won’t find a single cruise ship and the prices will be as low as they get. You can wander through seemingly deserted cities that are packed and chaotic in summer, or you can head to the mountains for a winter wonderland experience that’ll cost a fraction of the price of a similar vacation in Western Europe.

Plus, Montenegro isn’t even that cold. Winter in Montenegro is often pleasant during the day, but cold at night along the coast. In Kotor, Budva, and other coastal cities, expect average highs of 13°C/55°F and lows of 2-3°C/26-37°F throughout December through February. It may snow in the surrounding mountains, but it’s rare (though not unheard of) for there to be snow on the ground in the cities themselves.

Meanwhile, Zabljak (the gateway to Durmitor National Park and most winter activities in Montenegro) will be quite cold and snowy! Skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing are incredibly popular this time of year. Expect average highs of 0-2°C/32-36°F and average lows of -7-9°C/15-19°F, with tons of snow!

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Want to visit Montenegro in winter? This guide to the best things to do in Montenegro covers where to ski in Montenegro, what to do in Budva and Kotor in winter, and where to stay in Montenegro in winter. Full of winter activities in Montenegro!
Want to visit Montenegro in winter? This guide to the best things to do in Montenegro covers where to ski in Montenegro, what to do in Budva and Kotor in winter, and where to stay in Montenegro in winter. Full of winter activities in Montenegro!

The Best Things to Do in Montenegro in Winter

Explore normally-bustling cities in total quiet

Montenegro - Budva - Ocean and city of Budva with snow covered mountains in background

Kotor and Budva are bordering on unbearable in the summer when it comes to how many tourists there are, especially Kotor. When a cruise ship unloads, the entire city gets swarmed and it’s hard to enjoy it.

In winter, you’ll be sharing those epic views with precious few other people. If you’re a photography lover, you’ll love that the combination of late sunrises and cold weathers means that you don’t even have to wake up that early to get peaceful, people-free photos.

Enjoy a peaceful beach sunset

While you certainly won’t want to swim in Montenegro in winter, unless you’re absolutely bonkers, there’s something unreal about watching the sunset on a beach all on your own.

Bring some tea or coffee to warm your hands (or a bottle of wine to warm yourself up in a different way!) and enjoy the magic of a sunset that you don’t have to share with a million strangers.

Go skiing or snowboarding in one of Montenegro’s winter resorts

There are two main mountain resorts in Montenegro in winter: Kolašin, which has the most slopes (14 kilometers of them) and Žabljak, which has the highest run (2,213 meters altitude).

Either is a fantastic option and it depends what you are looking for. Kolašin is more modern and has more amenities; Žabljak has more beautiful surroundings in Durmitor National Park and near to the beautiful Tara River Canyon, which gets all frosty and beautiful in the winter. Both are hidden places in Montenegro loved by local but that few tourists experience!

Stay in a cozy cabin in a winter wonderland

Even if you’re not a skier or snowboarder, there’s still plenty of reason to visit Žabljak in the winter – for one, there are so many cute mountain accommodations that would be perfect to relax in all day with the heater on a cozy book.

If you’re a family of skiers and non-skiers, Žabljak is a great option for everyone.

See the beautiful icy Tara River Canyon

The Tara River Canyon is the deepest canyon in Europe, and it’s a popular summer activity to go rafting down it.

However, as it’s just a few kilometers outside of Žabljak, if you are basing yourself there it’s a wonderful idea to at least go and visit the Tara River Canyon and perhaps doing a little hike around the area if conditions allow.

Get an incredible view from Mount Lovćen

Even if you are not going to the actual mountain resorts, which can take quite a while from the coast, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit Mount Lovćen.

If conditions allow and the roads are not icy, taking the beautiful serpentine route from Kotor is the best way to visit Mount Lovćen as you’ll get a stunning view of the Bay of Kotor along the way.

Climb the over 400 steps to Lake Peak, an altitude of 1,660 meters high, where you can visit the mausoleum of the famous Montenegrin ruler and see the best view on Lovćen. Supposedly, this viewpoint shows you 70% of Montenegro’s land.

Eat a delicious Montenegrin feast

Montenegrin food is rich, hearty, and filling: perfect for cold winter days when you just want rich stews, flaky meat-filled pastries, and grilled and roasted meats.

Burek, which you can pick up at any bakery, will surely hit the spot; so will warm and filling dishes like ćevapi, baked beans (prebranac/pasulj) which is sometimes served with sausage, and baked lamb.

Montenegro is also famous for its njeguški pršut, a cured ham similar to prosciutto from the village of Njeguši, as well as its local cheeses and fresh dairy. And of course, as it’s a coastal city, you can still get fresh seafood in the winter along the water, should you crave it.


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7 Magical Things to Do in Montenegro in Winter